Flight attendants at New York-based low-cost airline, jetBlue will soon be represented by a union for the first time in the airline’s history. The Transport Workers Union said the historic vote for union representation by jetBlue flight attendants had been “overwhelming”.
jetBlue, however, didn’t see the vote in quite such a positive light, saying in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the result and claiming a direct relationship with its crew members was “superior” than going through a union.
The Transport Workers Union was quick to reject that idea, with a Tweet from the union saying “lie’s” from jetBlue had failed – “JetBlue must recognize that TWU Inflight Crewmembers aren’t 3rd party, they themselves r the Union. The “Direct Relationship” lies failed! They should stop lying and prepare 2 bargain,” the Tweet read in full.
jetBlue has around 5,000 flight attendants, or as it calls them, inflight crewmembers, who operate over 1,000 flights per day to around 101 points in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. The airline is renowned for it’s ‘Mint’ Business Class product and superior Economy experience.
John Samuelsen, the TWU’s international president has previously said that he intends to “strategically engage” jetBlue in order to win a contract for the airline’s crew members.
Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants wrote to jetBlue flight attendants last month to argue that union representation was the best way to get a negotiated contract.
Congratulations to the more than 5,000 JetBlue Inflight crewmembers on their overwhelming vote for Transport Workers Union of America representation! pic.twitter.com/XDFL5DwrMW
— TWU (@transportworker) April 17, 2018
“Executives wouldn’t agree to do their jobs without a negotiated contract that confirms their pay and benefits; we (flight attendants) shouldn’t either,” the letter read.
In a statement, jetBlue said its “crewmembers remain at the heart of the JetBlue experience and we value all they do to provide that experience to our customers.”
“As we move forward, we will work to come together around our mission to inspire humanity that has set JetBlue apart from other airlines since day one.”
The National Mediation Board is expected to ratify the vote soon – once that has happened the union and airline will set up negotiating committee’s.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.